Why Algorithms > Data
Vietnamese are more active on the Internet and social networks than citizens of other Asian economies1. With so much data being generated online, Mrs. Dang Tuyet Dung, Country Manager of Visa Vietnam and Laos shares why it’s important to empower consumers by understanding and managing their data.
It’s no secret that much of the content we see online is catered specifically for us. This level of personalisation is something that consumers have come to expect and even demand – from content suggestions on streaming apps to the elimination of irrelevant advertisements.
Fundamentally, it is all about convenience. And that ability to get a better experience is made possible by data. While some have spoken of data as being the new oil, we at Visa believe it isn’t. Oil is valuable because it’s finite and controlled by few, whereas the value of data grows exponentially when there’s more of it. That’s why we advocate for an open data economy, so that data can flow freely across sectors and borders to create richer data sets. But having data is just one part of the equation.
Algorithms play a big role as they help give meaning to data. Think of algorithms as a set of instructions that turn data into useful information. Algorithms behave like a muscle, the more you feed and use it, the stronger it becomes. Data in this sense, provides the fuel for algorithms to codify human behaviour and smartly meet consumer demands.
Across the globe, Asia Pacific stands out when we look at the potential to feed algorithms. The region accounts for five of the top 10 markets in the world when it comes to the average time spent on the internet every day, with the Philippines topping the charts by clocking a whopping 9hrs 45mins. Every “like”, “share”, “comment”, and click helps feed algorithms.
While some may not pay much attention to how algorithms work, there is a group of consumers who are increasingly interested in it. And that’s good for the industry as it encourages transparency in how data is collected and utilised.
“The acceleration towards digital-first experiences has intensified and data is at the heart of this shift. As our customers embark on their digital journey, Visa is committed to developing data-driven solutions and capabilities to position them on a secure pathway to growth,” said Madam Dang Tuyet Dung, Visa Country Manager for Vietnam and Laos.
As consumers start to view their data as a resource, businesses and governments will need to contend with complex consent and security needs especially since this view of data varies across Asia Pacific.
So, is the trade-off between personal data and better experiences worth it?
As the global leader in digital payments, we’ve had the privilege of managing data – whether securing our payments network, combating fraud or driving new innovation. And regardless of how data is applied, a great experience is only possible when data is handled safely and securely. This means respecting an individual’s privacy and empowering them to manage the type of data that is shared and with whom.
So, while it might be the world’s worst kept secret that data is used to personalise our experiences, the same cannot be said over the type of data used and by whom. There has emerged, fortunately, a solution to this data use conundrum. The creation of unique digital identities keeps the uses of personal data transparent to consumers, while still allowing businesses and governments to manage the data. With this, we can achieve the delicate reconciliation of harnessing the power of algorithms to elevate customer experiences with protecting the privacy of such data.
Do you agree that algorithms should be the top concern of business leaders, or is data still king? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, visa.com/blog and @VisaNews.